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How to read a yarn label ?

Christelle ABC's knitting, Knitting Leave a Comment

You have probably, like me, been confused by reading yarn label, especially when it comes to industrial yarns, mostly as when they come from abroad.
Would you like to know more? Let’s go, follow me, I’ll give you a few tips 🙂

First of all, the front of the yarn label
How do you interpret this part of the skein label?
What informations could you read on it?
  • Yarn brand and range
  • Brand logo
  • Also a small explanatory text, some romance, a little personal touch typical of the brand that will make you want to buy it.
  • Sometimes a taste of the composition (i.e. in this case, it is specified that it is a luxurious yarn composed of baby alpaca, merino and silk)

So in fact, the front of the label is there to tell you “look, I’m gorgeous, buy me” …
In truth this is the brand’s personal touch that will make you recognize at first glance the coveted skein (you see, the one you’re looking for when you’re short of yarn? Yes, just that one).

Moving on to the back of the label

That is where things get complicated because the back side usually gives you a lot of informations but all different depending on the yarn production (in brief where it is produced), the way it is produced – yarn from the industry or hand dyed by an indie etc.

Let’s see what you can find on this label.
  • Mention of the gauge
    • In text (for example: 23 sts / 30 rows)
    • Or in the form of a schematic drawing: a small rectangle on which are written numbers – one will specify the number of stitches, the other the number of rows (this number is not always present) and another the gauge measurement (this number is not always present either)
  • A roughly estimated quantity required to knit a sweater (SQ or sweater quantity)
  • The skein weight and yardage (so for example: 100 g / 160 m)
  • Yarn weight (e.g. fingering, worsted etc.)
  • Yarn composition
  • Care instructions
    • In the form of symbols (see below)
    • In text
  • Colourway and its dye lot
    • With figures
    • With an appellation (for example: Lovers on the beach)
  • Traceability (sometimes this information can be found on the other side)
  • Origin (designed in, made in etc.)
  • Barcode
  • Social medias or website
  • A Craft Yarn Council symbol, and this is especially true for industrial yarns produced in the US (the symbol is a yarn ball with a number – see below).
laundry guide
Yarn weight

So, here’s basically some informations you can find on the label of a skein or ball of yarn.
But that’s not all!

Sometimes you can also find the yarn story, the process, QR Code prompting you to take a look at the website. So a lot of information on such a small piece of paper!

If you want to know more about it, take a look at the video I posted on YouTube (in French).

Finally, if you have any additional questions or suggestions, please feel free to share them in the comments section.

See you soon,


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